Every year about this time, my phone starts to ring with the same hesitant requests from friends. "Um, I have lots of tomatoes in my garden. Any chance you feel like making some pies?"
My answer is always a resounding, "Yes!" For me, tomatoes taste like childhood on a plate. I can eat them like apples, warm and straight off the vine or on simple sandwiches with a little salt, pepper and mayonnaise.
I dry them to flavor olive oils, make marinara to freeze for cooler months. The list goes on, but the truest respect I can pay to this fruit is pie. Yes, pie. A mouth-watering, savory concoction that will leave you wondering where it has been all your life.
Many Carolinians have different versions. This is my favorite after years of baking, tasting and re-tasting. And know this: if you manage to have any leftovers, a slice tastes even better straight out of the refrigerator late at night when no one else is watching.
- Written by Carol Adams, professional chef and local food writer